Natural Selection and Genetic Modification – 7

Year 9 Topic 3: Natural Selection and Genetic Modification

Learning Opportunity 7: Genetic Engineering

This Learning Opportunity has 6 tasks.

Target Time: 60 minutes

By the end of this learning opportunity you will be able to:

Describe examples of where genetic engineering has been used.

Describe genetic engineering as a process which involves modifying the genome of an organism to introduce desirable characteristics.

Evaluate the benefits and risks of genetic engineering in modern agriculture and medicine, including practical and ethical implications.

Key words: Genetic modification, genes.

Task 1:

If you could choose any characteristic of an animal you would like to have; what would it be?​

​Why can a donkey and a zebra produce a zonkey (true; google it!), but a cat and dog cannot produce offspring? 

Task 2: Use the written information and video below to help you answer the questions.

Genetic engineering is where DNA of an organism is changed by adding in genes of another organism. It is genetically modified. 

This whole process is faster than selective breeding as the offspring immediately has the selected characteristics. However, it is more expensive and it is new technology with only a few examples that have worked.

  1. How is genetic engineering different from selective breeding? 

2. What are the advantages of genetic engineering? 

3. Why are more organisms not being genetically modified? 

Answers are available at the end of this learning opportunity.

Task 3: Watch the video. Write a summarising paragraph focusing on the bullet points below.

  • Which organisms were used​?
  • The selected characteristic​
  • Why this could be useful?
  • Any ethical considerations to be made 

Task 4: Click on the link below and use the information to complete the table.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/z9rqcj6/revision/3

Current use of GM Organism/s used Benefits 
Insulin for diabetics   
Crops   
Golden rice   

Answers are available at the end of this learning opportunity.

Task 5: Evaluate the use of genetic modification (GM) by completing the Venn Diagram below. Watch the video up to 3.47 to help you.

Task 2 Answers
  1. It is faster and more expensive than selective breeding.
  2. It is a faster process than selective breeding. It can be an easier way of introducing desirable characteristics to crops, such as virus resistance.
  3. It is expensive and due to the fact that it is a relatively new technology there are only a few example of it working.
Task 4 Answers
Current use of GM Organism/s used Benefits 
Insulin for diabetics Bacteria. The insulin produced acts just as natural insulin when injected in humans. 
Crops Crops that are resistant to insect attack or herbicides. The crops are not eaten by insects and herbicides only kill weeds, not the crop itself. 
Golden rice Rice plants. It can be used in areas with vitamin A deficiency to reduce cases of blindness.  
Task 5 Answers

Task 6: Complete the exam question.

Q1. Corn is one of the world’s most important crop plants. 

Native Americans grew an early form of corn called teosinte.  
Modern corn has been developed by selective breeding of teosinte plants. 

Genetic engineering can also be used to produce a new variety of modern corn. 

Describe how the genome of this new variety of corn is different from the genome of corn that has not been genetically engineered.    (2) 

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Mark scheme – mark your answer

Q1. 
  

If you would like to learn more about GM, watch the rest of the task 5 video.

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